Listening and hearing

Listening and hearing are two different things.  We often times think that we are listening to someone when we really haven’t heard a thing they’ve said.  Sometimes we are busy doing something else while they are talking to us.  Sometimes we are mentally preparing an answer to whatever they’re saying and not really hearing anything but own response.  Sometimes we have turned the person off as soon as they open their mouth because we don’t want to hear what they have to say.  Because of this, when we finally do hear what the person said, usually weeks or months later, we are amazed at the difference in what was said and what we heard.  Conversations are supposed to be two ways.  Someone talking and someone listening and then asking questions to clarify whether or not they truly heard what was said and meant by what was said.  The meaning sometimes get lost in the process.  That is where most people miss out and don’t hear what is being said.  We begin to form our own version of the meaning instead of asking questions to make sure we got it right.  We assume we know.  Instead of understanding the other persons meaning we have inserted our own meaning into their words.  We haven’t heard them at all, only ourselves and our own meaning.  That is what we will remember about the conversation.  When we talk to them again about it, it will be something different, because they are not us.  Their meaning will be something different and we will have missed it because we have not heard anyone but ourselves. Hearing is an art, you learn it in my line of work and you learn to ask questions of the person to reflect back what you heard.  It then gives the person an opportunity to clarify if that was what they meant or not.  Most people don’t do that because they honestly think they’ve heard it correctly and do not need clarification.  Most of us are wrong.  If you care about the person you’re talking to, then you care about what they’re saying to you.  You want to get it right.  If you don’t care about the person, then you may not care about what they’re saying.  You may still want to get it right though.  What they’re saying may be important to you and you may need to get it right.  It is always a good idea to reflect back to the person what you heard them say, just to make sure you heard their meaning.  Changing any behavior is always difficult.  it takes 3 weeks to change a behavior by constantly catching yourself doing the old behavior and replacing it with a new one.  Then 3 more weeks to practice the new behavior in order to make it a habit.  The following link will help you to do just that.  Enjoy!

Here is the link


Reinventing history

I have met a lot of people over the years both personally and professionally that reinvent history and sometimes that of others, especially if they were involved in that history.  This usually happens if there is dysfunction within the ranks of the deception.  It becomes a matter of saving face because it is usually something they cannot admit because it does not agree with how they think about themselves.  If it is something so abhorent to them that they cannot admit it to themselves because it goes against everything that they think they are.  If they were to admit to this history, they would also have to admit to the thing they find abhorent, and also the character that they truly are or have become because of this abhorant thing they have done.  So they change the event to make it more palatable for themselves and that usually involves making someone else the bad guy.  The problem with this logic is that it makes the situation worse then it would have been if they had only admitted that they made a mistake.  That they misjudged the situation and made a mistake.  Human beings make mistakes, not the same mistakes but mistakes nonetheless.  Owning those mistakes helps us to grow and become better people.  Not owning them allows us to stay stuck in the mistake, doomed to make the same mistake again and again until we own up to it and learn whatever it is we need to learn from it.   If you are human you will mess up.  Make mistakes.  Have regrets about some of the decisions that you’ve made.  It should not be the end of the world, it should not stop you from moving on with your life.  Sometimes it takes courage to look ourselves in the eye and see who and what we are and what we’ve become.  Looking at ourselves is exactly what we need to be doing.  No one is without redemption, no one is so terrible that they cannot be forgiven, unless they choose that path.  Owning the mistakes are the first decisions that you have to make.   Letting go of everything that you cannot control is the second thing.  Forgiving yourself for being human is the third.  The following link will help you to let go of those things that you cannot control and move on with your life.

Here is the link


There are realistic expectations and not so realistic expectations.  It is realistic to expect that when someone says they will do something, that they will indeed do whatever they said they would do.  It is unrealistic to think that someone will do something that they did not agree to do, no matter what relationship they have with you.  There are certain expectations between partners, husbands and wives, children and parents.  Each of these relationships have conditions to them.  Built in expectations made by our society.  If the individuals, however, have not agreed to those expectations, those expectations will not be met.  An example of those what I mean is that the woman will clean the house and make the meals and the man will take out the trash and mow the lawn and do snow removal when necessary.  If the individuals do not agree with those expectations, you could be waiting a long time for your supper or to get out of your garage because there’s a foot of snow in your driveway.  In the good old days the roles were set and usually done whether the person agreed to them or not.  In today’s society the expectations of old are not longer applicable.  Roles in relationships are negotiated and people are doing those things within those relationships that they like doing and negotiating those things that no one likes to do.  Less and less in this society there are men jobs and women jobs that are designated within the relationship. Less and less our society is making those decisions for us, we are making them for ourselves.  Society is suppose to help us with a moral and ethical compass.  That depends on the society and its morals and ethics.  Forcing someone to comply with something they are not comfortable with or would not want to do on a continuing basis with no hope of stopping, never works.  Negotiating these things is always best.  f you are in a relationship where you feel the expectations that are placed on you are not of you liking, talk to your partner.  negotiate your position.  Change is always hard, but always worth it.  The following link will help you to do that.  Enjoy!

Here is the link

Taking back your power

It is cliché to say that someone has power over you only if you let them.  It is true, however.  It is also difficult when you are in the middle of your pain to see that fact.  It can be and often is almost impossible to see that you are the one allowing them to have the power over you.  People say a lot of things and often times they are inconsiderate, non-compassionate and stupid.  To say that maybe they weren’t thinking when they said it is the only way we can think about it without also then thinking that the person saying such things is a sociopath.  One who doesn’t care whether or not they hurt someone else.  Words are often times more hurtful than being physically abused.  I feel compassion for both the object of the words as well as the person saying them.  The reason being is that the person saying the words apparently does not know any better because that is what they were taught and therefore how they were raised to think.  That is sad in this day and age.  We have by this time learned about bullying and how words can hurt as much as any other abuse.  If you are still doing it, it is not because you have not heard about bullying and the negative effects on people’s lives, but because you enjoy being cruel.  There is a diagnosis for that type of person.  That is for another blog, however.

Taking back your power is getting through the pain and realizing that what people say cannot hurt us unless we actually believe what they are saying is the truth about us.  If someone says we are stupid or ugly, that will only hurt us if we actually think that we are stupid and ugly.  Taking back you power is knowing yourself enough to know that what others say about us is not always about us, but about them and their thoughts.  Those thoughts are usually about what they think will hurt you, not about you personally.  They can also have something to do with what the person knows would hurt them if someone said it to them.  The only way that you will know whether or not what they are saying is the truth is to know who you are and are not.  Taking back your power has to do with being able to hear what the other person is saying and dismissing it as unimportant, untrue and not significant in your life.  If you think it is true, then change it to something you can accept about yourself.  Something you can live with and like, love about you.  The following link will help you to accept those things you cannot change and change those things you can.  Enjoy!

Here is the link

Re-traumatizing the traumatized

When dealing with people who have been traumatized there is always a danger that you will re-traumatize them while they are reliving their experience (s).  If the trauma has happened when the person was a child they may not even remember the event (s) even though they are exhibiting symptoms of trauma.  It will be something that they will have to live with for the rest of their lives.  It may get easier, the symptoms may lesson with time and the right therapy/therapist, but it never goes away.  Most people when they have a trauma happen to them do not have to make it public.  They certainly don’t have to announce it before the American people.  That would never be recommended as therapeutic and always re-traumatizing.  If the person is too young or inexperienced to understand what happened to them their brain will suppress it or the brain will make up a story about it that the child can understand.  The memory later in life will be whatever the brain made up about it, not necessarily the truth, because the truth at the time of the trauma was too difficult for the person to deal with and therefore the brain handled it on its own.  Most of the time if the person is asked whether or not the have every been raped or molested as a child, they will say “No”.  They are not lying, they truly do not remember the event or their brain made up another story about it.  They may begin to have flashbacks about the true event and then piece it together for themselves when they are old enough to deal with the event.  If you have been raped or molested when you are older, the natural thing to do is to suppress it, try to forget it, pretend it didn’t happen and try to get on with your life.  Either way you go through symptoms of grief, flashback, night terrors and your brain will not let you forget it.  The brain needs to file it away in some kind of logical fashion before you will stop the flashbacks and night terrors.  It needs to make sense of something that doesn’t make sense.  You need to grieve something that you lost, like innocence, trust and an ability to be open with others, along with many other things that you lose when someone violates your person.

Making fun of this, making light of this, mocking this says absolutely nothing about the survivor but it does say a great deal about the person who lowers themselves enough to do any of the above.  Any kind of mocking, bullying always will speak about the character of the bully and not the one being bullied.  Most people know this, apparently not everyone though.  My hope is that what was witnessed on TV does not stop people who have been traumatized from coming forward to report it.  It takes a lot of courage to speak your truth and when someone who should be setting an example for the country says the things that have been said, my fear is that it will stop someone who needs help from getting it.  Not everyone feels this way, I know.  It is still a free country and people can say what they want.  My hope is that those people who need the help will ignore the negative influences and continue to seek the help they need.

To those who need to mock and ridicule others for any reason, I hope you also get the help you need.  Remember, it is not what you say, it is how you say it.  If you truly want someone to hear you, mocking and ridiculing is not the way to get their attention, it is the way to get them to turn you off and stop listening to you.

Taking a deep breath and letting go of those things you have no control over is a beginning.  The following link will help you to do just that.  Enjoy!

Here is the link

The Good old days

I have lived through part of the good old days and they were not all good.  The culture that existed was one that allowed men to hit, beat their wives, rape their wives and grope women in the work place.  They were allowed to do what ever they wanted to do in the work place because they dominated it.  If the women involved complained she was looked at as a hysterical person and ignored.  If she called the police, they did nothing because it was okay for the men to do whatever they wanted to do.  Boys will be boys.  She was laughed at and looked upon as a bitch or it was probable her time of the month.  If she defended herself and hurt him she was arrested and God forbid that she kill him because she would have been put to death in the electric chair. If you go back before my time women and children were considered property. Just like the furniture you’re sitting upon. Women were allowed to vote in 1920 for the first time.    This culture was set by the ruling class at the time.  The ruling class at the time were white Anglo-Saxon protestant men and they set the tone for the rest of the country.  They allowed this culture to exist and flourish and they flourished within that culture.  This went on for centuries.  Within my life time we have changed.  Somethings for the better and some things for the worst.  Women have a voice, police now file charges against any man who assaults her, boys will be boys is not an excuse for hurting anyone.  Women and children are not property.  White Anglo-Saxon men are not the only ones in the ruling class.  We’ve come a long way and so have they.  The “Me too” movement is the beginning of a purification of this country that has been a long time coming.  It is no more a mans world, we all have a voice, including our children.  I think it has got to be a huge change for those who have been allowed to get away with the good old boys culture.  If you look at it from their point of view, you will see the reason why they are resisting the change, why they are complaining, why they are striking back in the manner they are striking back.  Change is difficult for everyone, change that has been in place for centuries is excruciating.  It will not stop the movement forward.  The change will take place.  It is necessary and too long in the coming.  Relax, take a breath and try to accept what is in the making.  The following link will help you to do just that.

Here is the link

Divided we fall

There is a chasm in this country.  A divide that does not seem to be closing any time soon.  We seem to be going through a cleansing, purification, change.  Much like the Catholic Church is doing.  Old ways are being replaced by new ways.  With every change there is struggle and a need to hang on to the old ways with a vengeance.  Change can be scary to some people.  It can also be life altering.  We may be forced to change ourselves in ways we are not willing to change.  We may be afraid that we will not like ourselves when we are finished with the change.  Not all change is good.  We may also have to admit that some of the things that we were holding on to for dear life are not good.  They do not make us better people but rather lesser than what we could be, should be.  That being comfortable with who and what we are does not make us better or happy, but stagnant , stale and wrong.  Continuing to grow and change makes us better people.  The struggle that it takes to grow is usually what we fear.  The struggle usually involves pain, sorrow and seeing things about ourselves that we don’t want to see, don’t like seeing.  Changing those things involves work, hard work and a great deal of emotional pain which most people try to avoid at all costs.  It is walking through this pain that will heal us, make us better people and allowing us to let go of those things that have been making us stale and stagnant.  Walking through the pain is the only way to get to the other side.  Life s about change, hopefully for the better.  Hopefully stepping forward not backward.  Doing the right thing is rarely easy and most of the time has consequences we may not be willing to accept.  The consequences are usually just what we’ve been looking for once we accept the new normal for us.  The cleansing, purification that we’ve been going through will make us better if we accept the fact that both sides have qualities and points that are valid and changing those things that are not valid, never were valid is the change that is needed.  The following link will help you to relax enough to see where you would like to go next.  Enjoy!

Here is the link